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Osteopathy & Pregnancy

Hannah Kitchen Osteopath in Twickenham and Oxford
Hannah Kitchen Osteopath in Twickenham and Oxford

Here for you and your family to maintain a happy and healthy body

Pregnancy is a unique and powerful experience.Enormous physical, hormonal and emotional changes take place over a relatively short period of time. Osteopathy can help you deal with the postural and associated changes associated with pregnancy.

Pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period demonstrate an excellent example of how the body is able to adapt and change. During pregnancy the body has to adapt to carrying the weight of the baby, waters and placenta, which can impose physical strain on all the organs and tissues.

Osteopaths understand the changes that take place in the body associated with pregnancy and by balancing these mechanics they can help mothers-to-be cope with these changes.  As most drugs are not advised during pregnancy it is seems quite obvious that a natural gentle hands-on-treatment is the best option.

During the 40 weeks of normal pregnancy the human body undergoes reversible change in many of the body systems – from the cardiorespiratory system to the neuromuscular and skeletal systems, from the digestive to the urogenital and excretory systems – everything must adapt.

Osteopathic treatment during and after pregnancy can be beneficial in a number of ways:

  • Easing the physical discomforts of pregnancy
  • Preparing for the demands of labour
  • Helping the mother to recover after birth

Preparation for delivery​​​​​​

Low back pain and other musculoskeletal pains are prevalent in pregnant women. Osteopathy provides a safe and efficient way of dealing with these pains. During a natural vaginal delivery a baby must pass through the mothers' pelvis. Trauma to the pelvic bones, coccyx or sacrum at any time in a mother's life can leave increased tension in muscles and strain within the ligaments and bones of the pelvis. This can limit the ability of these bones to separate and during labour, limiting the size of the pelvic outlet. Osteopathic treatment is extremely effective at releasing pelvic strains therefore giving the best chance of an easy and uncomplicated labour.

Treatment of the pregnant woman:​​​​​​

Treatment, as with any patient, is influenced by the medical case history, her presenting symptoms and condition, and the type of techniques which she is comfortable with.

Techniques that may be used include:

  • Mobilisation and articulation to increase the range of motion of a specific joint
  • Soft tissue techniques including massage to reduce muscular tension and aid drainage
  • Cranial osteopathy
  • Inhibition and myofascial trigger points to release acute muscle spasms

Recovery from pregnancy​​​​​​

The mother's pelvis is extremely vulnerable to strains from the forces involved during labour, especially after a difficult delivery. If these strains are not dealt with they can remain for a long time continuing to disrupt the spinal and pelvic mechanics – contributing to ongoing back problems, period problems, stress incontinence, constipation, headache and many more.

After birth, the body not only has to recover from the changes made during pregnancy but also from the effects of delivery as well as coping with the demands of having a new baby. Caring for a baby can place enormous strain on the back, during activities such as nursing in poor positions, lifting car seats especially in and out of the car, reaching over the cot, or carrying a child in one arm on one hip. Osteopathic treatment can help the mother to return to normal after birth by releasing strains from both pregnancy and labour and therefore allowing her to relax and enjoy her new baby.

Is osteopathy safe during pregnancy?

Gentle osteopathic techniques are safe during all stages of pregnancy. However due to the delicate nature of pregnancy during weeks 12 and 16 treatment is avoided or heavily modified for those weeks.

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